A note stuck to the door of his tiny music shop warned Mohammed al-Shaer several months ago that selling tapes and CDs of popular Arabic music was haram, or forbidden by Islam.You mean, Hamas isn't moving towards pragmatism?
Al-Shaer paid no heed until a bomb went off outside his business this week - apparently the work of what Palestinian security officials now suspect may be a secret vice squad of Muslim militants.
In recent months, about three dozen Internet cafes, music shops and even pharmacies have been attacked, with assailants detonating small bombs outside businesses at night, causing damage but no injuries.
The bombings started in October, a new phenomenon even in violent Gaza, where more than 130 people have been killed in factional fighting between Hamas and Fatah in recent months. The attacks could point to a further spread of religious extremism in Gaza, where poverty and lawlessness have been on the rise.[...]
"The bombings are the latest sign of a society buckling under the pressure of more than six years of fighting with Israel, internal strife and deep-rooted poverty," said Anwar Wadi, a psychologist at the Gaza Community Mental Health Center. "This is a poisoned society," he said.
"Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip [in 2005], hidden problems have come to the surface.
Shaheen, the police spokesman, said solving problems by violence has become the norm.
"Everybody has guns. There's no rule of law. We've reached a stage where a person is a hero by how he can break the law."